Formerly International Rivers Network (IRN)..."International Rivers' mission is to protect rivers and defend the rights of communities that depend on them. We oppose destructive dams and the development model they advance, and encourage better ways of meeting people’s needs for water, energy and protection from damaging floods. To achieve this mission, we collaborate with a global network of local communities, social movements, non-governmental organizations and other partners. Through research, education and advocacy, International Rivers works to halt destructive river infrastructure projects, address the legacies of existing projects, improve development policies and practices, and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world. The primary focus of our work is in the global South..."...Some articles and reports on Burma
"By the end of the 20th century, the dam industry had choked more than half of the Earth's major rivers with some 50,000 large dams. The consequences of this massive engineering program have been devastating. The world's large dams have wiped out species; flooded huge areas of wetlands, forests and farmlands; and displaced tens of millions of people. The "one-size-fits-all" approach to meeting the world's water and energy needs is also outdated: better solutions exist. While not every dam causes huge problems, cumulatively the world's large dams have replumbed rivers in a massive experiment that has left the planet's freshwaters in far worse shape than any other major ecosystem type, including tropical rainforests. In response, dam-affected communities in many parts of the world are working to resolve the legacies of poorly planned dams. Elsewhere (and especially in North America), communities are starting to take down dams that have outlived their usefulness, as part of a broader river restoration movement....Dam Basics:-
Frequently Asked Questions:
Watch We All Live Downstream for a visual introduction to dams, rivers and people...
Read 10 Things You Should Know About Dams...
Read "Greenwashing Hydropower": The Problems with Big Dams.....
Watch Hydropower: Not As Clean As You Think for an introduction to why big dams are not the answer to our changing climate....
Damned Rivers, Damned Lives: The case against large dams...
A Crisis of Mismanagement: Real solutions to the world's water problems...
Beyond Hydropower: Energy options for the 21st century...
Warming the Earth: Hydropower threatens efforts to curb climate change...
The Coming Storm: Preparing for a warming water world.....
Twelve Dams That Changed the World...
The State of the World's Rivers...
Large Dams Are Uneconomic, Scientific Study Finds...
WRR Commentary: Know Thy River.
"Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance/Foundation for Ecological Recovery (TERRA/FER), believe that public debate on, and participation in, decisions concerning environment and development is a crucial first step in forging paths towards a more equitable and sustainable future for all people in the Mekong region. This means that civil society must play a strong role in shaping national and regional development policy process. In supporting the work of civil society groups in the region, we have undertaken a range of activities, including participatory research, internships, field studies and exchange. We also engage in campaign and monitoring activities to address development projects, programmes and policies that have negative implications for local people and the environment..."
.....Paper delivered at the International
James Lin Compton
International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-25 July 2015
Abstract: "A brisk building boom of hydropower mega-dams is underway from China to Brazil. Whether benefits of
new dams will outweigh costs remains unresolved despite contentious debates. We investigate this
question with the “outside view” or “reference class forecasting” based on literature on decision-making
under uncertainty in psychology. We find overwhelming evidence that budgets are systematically biased
below actual costs of large hydropower dams—excluding inflation, substantial debt servicing, environmental, and social costs. Using the largest and most reliable reference data of its kind and multilevel
statistical techniques applied to large dams for the first time, we were successful in fitting parsimonious
models to predict cost and schedule overruns. The outside view suggests that in most countries large
hydropower dams will be too costly in absolute terms and take too long to build to deliver a positive risk-
adjusted return unless suitable risk management measures outlined in this paper can be affordably
provided. Policymakers, particularly in developing countries, are advised to prefer agile energy
alternatives that can be built over shorter time horizons to energy megaprojects"....Keywords:
Large hydropower dams,
Schedule and cost estimates,
Reference class forecasting,
Atif Ansa, Bent Flyvbjerg, Alexander Budzie, Daniel Lunn
"Chinese dam builders have come to dominate the world market. Civil society groups have expressed concerns about the social and environmental impacts of numerous Chinese dams in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This NGO guide published by International Rivers presents the lessons of past experience and informs interested NGOs how they can best influence the projects and policies of Chinese dam builders and advocate for social and environmental interests.
This guide provides useful information for groups concerned about dam projects in which Chinese companies and financiers are involved, including:
*A "who's who" among Chinese companies and financiers;
*Laws and standards in the Chinese dam building sector;
*A map of China's major overseas dam projects;
*The new environmental policy of Sinohydro, the world's largest dam-builder;
*An action guide for how to address problematic dams built by Chinese companies and financiers, and who to reach out to for help;
*Case studies of how NGOs have influenced Chinese overseas projects; and
*A sample letter to a Chinese dam building company...
Translations into Chinese and Spanish are planned for early 2013. Please contact us if you would like to organize a civil society training with the new guide, or suggest translations into other languages.
Table of Contents:
CASE STUDY 1 -
KOTO PANJANG DAM, INDONESIA;
CASE STUDY 2 -
SAN ROQUE MULTIPURPOSE PROJECT,THE PHILIPPINES;
CASE STUDY 3 -
LAM TAKONG PUMPED STORAGE PROJECT,THAILAND;
CASE STUDY 4 -
ZIPINGPU DAM, CHINA;
CASE STUDY 5 -
METRO MANILA FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT,THE PHILIPPINES;
CASE STUDY 6 -
Rivers Watch East and Southeast Asia (RWESA), International Rivers Network and Friends of the Earth Japan.
Introductory Pages - PDF (823k) Chair’s Preface Commissioners’ Foreword Table of Contents List of Tables List of Figures List of Boxes Acknowledgements Acronyms and Abbreviations
Executive Summary - PDF (142k)
Chapter 1: Water, Development and Large Dams - PDF (1,358k) Water and Development Development and Large Dams Large Dams as Instruments of Development Problems Associated with Large Dams Understanding the Large Dams Debate Fulfilling the WCD Mandate – Process and Methodology
PART I: THE WCD GLOBAL REVIEW OF LARGE DAMS
Chapter 2: Technical, Financial and Economic Performance - PDF (603k) Structure and Methodology Construction Costs and Schedules Irrigation Dams Hydropower Dams Water Supply Dams Flood Control Dams Multi-Purpose Dams Physical Sustainability Issues Findings and Lessons
Chapter 3: Ecosystems and Large Dams: Environmental Performance - PDF (571k) Terresterial Ecosystems and Biodiversity Greenhouse Gas Emissions Downstream Aquatic Ecosystems and Biodiversity Floodplain Ecosystems Fisheries Ecosystem Enhancement Cumulative Impacts Anticipating and Responding to Ecosystem Impacts Findings and Lessons
Chapter 4: People and Large Dams: Social Performance - PDF (914k) Socio-Economic Impacts through the Project and Planning Cycle Displacement of People and Livelihoods Indigenous Peoples Downstream Livelihoods Gender Cultural Heritage Human Health Equity and the Distribution of Costs and Benefits Findings and Lessons
Chapter 5: Options for Water and Energy Resources - PDF (621k) Development Agriculture and Irrigation Energy and Electricity Water Supply Integrated Flood Management Findings and Lessons
Chapter 6: Decision-Making, Planning and Institutions - PDF (419k) Decision-Making and the Political Economy of Large Dams Role of Foreign Assistance Planning and Evaluation Compliance Findings and Lessons
PART II: THE WAY FORWARD
Chapter 7: Enhancing Human Development: Rights, Risks and Negotiated Outcomes - PDF (417k) From Global Review to Future Practise Sustainable Human Development – A Global Framework Trends and Challenges in Applying the New Development Framework Rights and Risks – an Improved Tool for Decision-Making Negotiated Agreements on the Basis of Rights and Risks Conclusion
Chapter 8: Strategic Priorities – A New Policy Framework for the Development of Water and Energy Resources - PDF (687k) Gaining Public Acceptance Comprehensive Options Assessment Addressing Existing Dams Sustaining Rivers and Livelihoods Recognising Entitlements and Sharing Benefits Ensuring Compliance Sharing Rivers for Peace, Development and Security
Chapter 9: Criteria and Guidelines – Applying the Strategic Priorities - PDF (507k) Five Key Decision Points: The WCD Criteria A Special Case: Dams in the Pipeline A Set of Guidelines for Good Practice
Chapter 10: Beyond the Commission- An Agenda for Change - PDF (150k) Strategic Entry Points for Follow-up Taking the Initiative – Institutional Responses Continuing the Dialogue A Call to Action
A Comment - Medha Patkar - PDF (86k)
ANNEXES I Bibliography PDF (124k) II Glossary PDF (125k) III WCD Work Programme – Approach and Methodology PDF (128k) IV Reports in the WCD Knowledge Base PDF (131k) V Dams, Water and Energy – A Statistical Profile PDF (196k) VI United Nations Declarations PDF (153k) VII Members of the World Commission on Dams PDF (118k) VIII A Profile of the WCD Secretariat PDF (60k)
INDEX - PDF (80k)
Inter-chapter photocollages from the book - PDF (3,507k)
This report by Green November 32 in 1993 was the first ever NGO perspective report written on the Yadana gas pipeline and on the border dams as they were first discussed by Thai and Burmese governments around that time. It was actually one of the first detailed reports on any of the post 1988 environmental issues by any Burmese- or border- based organisation, and is of particular interest in the light of the current opposition to the Irrawaddy dam projects...
"Officials of the Thai government and the SLORC military regime have for some years now been planning a series of huge energy joint ventures to be undertaken in some of the most fought over territory in Burma. The energy projects, if they are endorsed by the Thai Government - and implemented with the participation of Japanese and Western corporations - will have extremely serious, possibly even terminal repercussions for the Burmese pro-democracy movement which is based in these same areas of the Burma -Thai border. Indeed, this seems to be what a number of the proponents of the development projects intend to achieve, particularly the generals in Rangoon. The SLORC, as well as politicians, military men and businessmen in Thailand and abroad would garner great benefit from the destruction of the Burmese opposition groups along the border, and the opening of the way to even more unrestrained natural resource exploitation than is currently taking place.
There are ten planned energy development joint ventures, comprising two offshore natural gasfield developments and eight hydro-electric dams. These are: •The Martaban Gasfield developments led by Total CFP of France •The Yetagun Gasfield exploratory program led by Texaco of the US •The Upper Salween Dam, •The Lower Salween Dam •The Nam Kok Project •The Nam Moei 3 Project •The Nam Moei 2 Project •The Klong Kra Project •The Nam Moei 1 Project, and •The Nam Mae Sai Project...
The energy projects will lead to environmental and social havoc on a scale comparable to the largest development projects in the world. Indeed, the Upper Salween Dam will be among the largest in the world. Altogether the projects will directly result in the flooding and deforesting of thousands of square kilometers of the forests bordering Burma and Thailand. The projects will displace many thousands of indigenous peoples, some of them already refugees from the forty-five years of bloody civil war in Burma. Many have already been affected by military operations of the SLORC and Thai armies, operations which can easily be seen in the context of clearing the way for the development of the 820-1,000 kilometre gas pipeline or the construction of the eight dams...
The energy projects will put billions of dollars into the control of an ultra-nationalist military regime that is one of the world's worst human rights violators and that is rapidly building up a large and extraordinarily aggressive army which poses a significant threat to the stability of the region. The massive input of funds from the Western and Japanese multinational oil and energy development companies, combined with the cheap sale and presents of Chinese weaponry, and the profits from the heroin traffic that the SLORC is alleged to control, has funded this huge expansion of the SLORC armed forces...
The energy joint ventures will, if signed, mark the second and higher level of engagement in the much criticised ASEAN policy of "constructive engagement" towards the SLORC regime, which through the activities of the logging, oil and fishing companies have already caused untold damage to Burma's environment. The multinational corporations, the Keidanrens
and the Thai state oil and electricity institutes PTT and EGAT are therefore amongst the most powerful influences supporting the SLORC in its brutal and undemocratic suppression of the peoples of Burma."